Expatica news

Silent Belgian marchers remember four-year-old child

Brussels – Over 1,500 people marched in silence through a northwestern Belgian town Saturday to remember four-year old Younes Jratlou, whose body was discovered in a river near the French border.

The mourners, including many children, carried white balloons and released white doves.

The boy went missing on the night of 25 October when he left the family home barefoot and lightly dressed after an argument between his parents, according to prosecutors.

The child’s body was found in the nearby Lys river at Comines about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) away on November 10.

The boy’s father, Mohamed Jratlou told television station RTL-TVI that police suspected him over the death of his son, but protested his innocence.

The memorial march went through the streets of Ploegsteert to bid a final farewell to Younes, whose death has caused shock on both sides of the border.

The boy’s funeral is due to take place next Saturday in Casablanca, Morocco.

"The cortege was between 200 and 300 metres long. We estimate that there were between 1,500 and 2,000 people. Everything passed well, with dignity and calm," a local police spokesman said.

While some carried pictures of Younes, there were no slogan banners in sight and the organisers had arranged no speeches.